Who feels grateful for nearly dying? In a way, I really do. If I hadn’t been swept up in the rapids while whitewater rafting at age 35, I might never have found the life I’m meant to live.
A few weeks after being pulled from the river, I woke up with a new certainty: I was done. I quit my corporate job and went back to school to study theology. My family was stunned. My dad pounded the kitchen table. “Theology?” he shouted. Why would I leave a high paying job to study something so bizarrely impractical? I stood my ground. Thanks to a glancing encounter with death, I chose not to miss out on life.
This is a choice we all can make – and coming to grips with our mortality offers us a great chance to do it. We live so much of life in a state of near-slumber – unaware of time’s passage and life’s blessings. Realizing that our time on Earth is finite – that all we have for sure is now – can be the key to waking up. It’s a question often asked: What would you do if you knew you were going to die? And because we’re all going to die, it’s a question we should ask every day.